2009 Fall Convocation

Slide show photos by : 25247 OCdt Ken Eady:

CKWS video

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Photo: By Brad Lowe

Commodore William Truelove, Commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) and in his capacity as Vice-Chancellor, conferred thirty graduate and undergraduate degrees during the Fall Convocation ceremony this past friday.

Honorary degrees were awarded to George Elliott Clark, Ph.D, LL.D, Litt.D, ONS, OC; and General (Ret’d) Rick Hillier, CMM, MSC, CD. Dr Clark delivered the honorary doctorate convocation address.

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Photo by: Brad Lowe

George Elliott Clarke, Ph.D, LL.D, Litt.D, ONS, OC

During his convocation address, and in particular speaking to his fellow graduands, Dr. Clarke stated, ” How we have come, all of us, to be here today bears witness to familial, social and personal struggle and success” He continued, “I say we are tempted in civil society, in civilian life especially, to look at the successes of our civilization, and not notice, except on Remembrance Day or observances of distant and half-forgotten battles or battlefields, that previous generations have paid the ultimate price, or borne the ultimate sacrifice in surrendering their God-given breath to preserve our culture, our civilization, our multicultural, multiracial, and bilingual country against foreign threat or to help free peoples from the brutal burden of tyranny. I should say that although I am a civilian, and worst a poet, I cannot be ignorant of the role of the military in securing Canada and playing its part in projecting and protecting western values.

Dr. Clarke’s writing philosophy is simple: “to tell the truth – in song”. For more than two decades Dr Clarke has done just that, as a poet, novelist, librettist, critic, scholar and professor. He is a master wordsmith who has been widely applauded for his lush, lyrical, and musical style of writing. His work courageously tells the unforgettable stories of African Canadians, especially his Africadian ancestors, and in doing so, both entices and forces readers to confront some unpleasant truths about race and justice in Canadian society. Dr. Clarke’s work has been critically acclaimed and celebrated both in Canada and abroad. His verse-novel Whylah Falls won the prestigious Archibald Lampman award for poetry and the Portia White Prize for Excellence in the Arts. In 2001, he was awarded the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in his Execution Poems. Earlier this year, a collection of his poetry entitled Blues and Bliss: The Poetry of George Elliot Clarke, won the Eric Hoffer award for Poetry. His other awards include a Rockefeller Bellagio Centre Fellowship in 1998 the Outstanding Writer in Film and Television award in 2000, the Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award in 2004, the Planet Africa Renaissance Award in 2005 and the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Fellowship Prize. In 2006 he was appointed to the Order of Nova Scotia while in 2008 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr Clarke teaches at the English Department in the University of Toronto and was appointed as that institution’s first E.J. Pratt Professor. Professor George Elliot Clarke was conferred the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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Photo by: Brad Lowe

General (Ret’d) Rick Hillier, CMM, MSC, CD

General Rick Hillier (S149) has defied Canadian military tradition. Few other generals have become known to all Canadians. Indeed, “General Rick” is a household name. He is singular exception to the Canadian soldier’s tendency to ignore or to have little feelings for senior leaders. The force of his personality, combined with genuine compassion and extraordinary vision, has left an impression upon every Canadian soldier, sailor, airman and air woman. During his tenure as Chief of Defence Staff, General Hillier stirred emotions and hopes like no other before him. The Canadian Forces were galvanized under his leadership. With him they could feel their credibility grow amongst the Canadian people. At the same time, his leadership led to a steady and positive increase in the reputation of Canada and the Canadian Forces internationally.

A proud Newfoundlander, in 1972 General Rick began a military career that would make him an even prouder Canadian. Throughout his years as a young officer he served throughout Canada and in Germany and rose quickly by account of his exceptional ability to learn, his common sense style of leadership, and his unassailable integrity. At critical junctures during the Manitoba floods in 1997 and the Ice Storm in 1998, his performance as a brigade commander impressed senior military commanders and political leaders equally. With their confidence, he received inaugural appointments as Deputy Commanding General of III Armoured Corps of the United States Army, followed by command of Multinational Division (Southwest) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then three-star command of NATO’s International Stabilization Force in Afghanistan. Thus, even before his appointment to position of Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff in 2005, General Rick had achieved an unmatched reputation in American and European circles. As CDS he set out to transform the entire manner with which Canadians approach international military operations, championing the”3-D” approach to security – defence, diplomacy, and development. This has since been emulated by American and British allies. General Hillier’s ambition in this was anything but personal. Rather it was guided by the sound principle which he summed up as follows: “When a soldier steps on foreign soil in a high-risk environment, every single Canadian should be walking with him or her.”

General Rick’s unselfish placement of the individual Canadian serviceman or woman and the military family above all else, and especially above all bureaucracy, has resulted in unprecedented high morale and popular support, even while enduring the severe stresses of operations in Afghanistan. He has taken this selfless trait into retirement. As champion of the multi-million dollar charity known as the CDS’s Military Family Fund, General Rick has singlehandedly ended bureaucratic distance between the Forces and the families of our Fallen, and the cold practice that saw soldiers invalided out of the military as soon as was conveniently possible. General Rick’s genuine compassion, his extraordinary vision, his ability to involve everyone in common commitment, and his tireless energy have provided a legacy of exemplary leadership that will long endure. It is because of General Rick’s legacy of leadership that every single Forces’ member knows that while he lives, they will never walk alone in foreign fields.

Ex cadets noticed from the Convocation list included:

Doctor of Philosophy

22885 Jared Ryan SAUNDERS – Environmental Science

21394 Joseph Sebastien David SANSCARTIER – Environmental Engineering

Master of Arts

20074 Jean-Yves BELZILE – War Studies

Master of Science

22158 Daniel Michel ROY – Physics

Master of Applied Science

22849 Matthew C ARNDT – Civil Engineering

23641 Gabriel Rene Francois MASSIE – Electrical Engineering

20849 Kyle Lorne SOLOMON – Environmental Engineering

Master of Defence Studies

13354 Luc BOUCHARD

Bachelor of Arts

24097 Danielle Patricia MINEAULT – Military and Strategic Studies

Bachelor of Engineering

24141 Joseph John ROTCHFORD – Chemical Engineering

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